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Australian director wins ratings challenge

AAP logoAAP 16/10/2016 Danielle McGrane

Australian body image activist Taryn Brumfitt has won an appeal to reduce the 15+ classification on her documentary, Embrace, to an M rating.

The film, which has been supported by celebrities including Ashton Kutcher and Ricki Lake, was made by Brumfitt as part of her Body Image Movement to promote body image acceptance, particularly among women.

Brumfitt launched a Kickstarter campaign to help make Embrace that raised $331,000 to become Australia's most successfully crowd-funded documentary.

However, on release in August of this year, the film was slapped with a 15+ rating because of one sequence featuring close-up shots of women's vulvas, which the Classification Board said warranted the classification with consumer advice of "strong nudity".

The film can now be seen by people under the age of 15 without parental guidance with the revised Mature (M) rating to with a consumer advice of "nudity".

"I am thrilled that the right decision has been made. With rates of labiaplasty on the rise, particularly in teens, I knew how important it was to include the educational and informative vulva section in the film," Brumfitt said following the rating review.

"Since the film's release I have been told every day that it must be seen in schools and now it can be. The Classification Board's decision means that Embrace can be more accessible to the people who need its message most."

The documentary grossed more than $700,000 at the box office and is now expected to make more than $1m which would make it one of the highest grossing Australian documentaries.

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